Symposium on Martin & Le Corre, “Sensory Substitution Is Substitution”

TVSSS-PHONE-300x225If you haven’t gone over to The Brains Blog to view the Mind & Language symposium on Jean-Rémy Martin and François Le Corre’s “Sensory Substitution Is Substitution,” part of the journal’s April 2015 issue, you should. It’s an interesting perspective on what we normally think of as our other senses compensating for the lack of vision. Highly technical, this article and the subsequent symposium present the argument that the type of information processed by a SSD is metamodal and that the phenomenology is best described in terms of spatial phenomenology, only.

In addition, it also has been shown that they [the Vertical-Horizontal Illusion and the Ponzo Illusion] are equally and identically present in early blind people and that they usually depend on the same modulating factors as in vision (Gentaz and Hatwell, 2004).

If you’re interested in the entire article, you can view it on the Wiley Online Library, free through June 15th. Check out the symposium to get join the conversation on the topic.

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Free virtual issue: 60 years of the Philosophical Quarterly

The first issue of The Philosophical Quarterly was published in October 1950. In the sixty years since, the PQ has established itself as one of the world’s leading general philosophy journals. We continue to publish across the full spectrum of academic philosophy, and welcome original research in all areas of philosophy and its history.

Our aim in compiling this virtual issue was not to select the ‘best’ articles published in the PQ, but rather to produce a representative sample of the last sixty years. Limiting ourselves to two articles for each decade, we sought to give readers a taste of the variety of topics discussed in the journal, and the range of philosophical approaches taken to those issues. As we find every week, when deciding which articles to publish today, the final choice was not easy.

Many wonderful articles missed out. We could, of course, have included more. (The joy of a virtual issue is that there is no restriction on pages.) But we wanted the virtual issue to be as close as possible to a real issue. Our hope is that our selection will whet the readers’ appetites – encouraging them to search back through the PQ archive and discover hidden riches for themselves.

The virtual issue opens with the editor’s introduction from the first issue, and with a brief piece by Malcolm Knox.

 The Virtual Issue
Front Matter
Volume 1: Issue 1, 1950

A Passage in Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’
T. M. Knox
Volume 1: Issue 1, 1950

Feelings
Gilbert Ryle
Volume 1: Issue 3, 1951

Direct Perception
Norman Malcolm
Volume 3: Issue 13, 1953

Aristotle on the Good: A Formal Sketch
Bernard Williams
Volume 12: Issue 49, 1962

Plato’s “Third Man” Argument (PARM. 132A1-B2):
Text and Logic

Gregory Vlastos
Volume 19: Issue 77, 1969

The ideas of Power and Substance in Locke’s Philosophy
Michael R. Ayres
Volume 25: Issue 98, 1975

Common Knowledge
Jane Heal
Volume 28: Issue 111, 1978

Epiphenomenal Qualia
Frank Jackson
Volume 32: Issue 127, 1982

What does a concept script do?
Cora Diamond
Volume 34: Issue 136, 1984

A Furry Tile About Mental Representation
Deborah Brown
Volume 36: Issue 185, 1996

Finkish Dispositions
David Lewis
Volume 47: Issue 187, 1997

How to Reid Moore
John Greco
Volume 52: Issue 209, 2002

Kant’s second thoughts on race
Pauline Kleingeld
Volume 57: Issue 229, 2007

Interview: Philosophy and Pop Culture

We hope you’ll enjoy this brief interview withWilliam Irwin, series editor of the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series. In this brief interview, Bill tells us about his passion for getting new people into philosophy, and how the series aims to do that by illuminating traditional philosophical problems with examples from pop culture. The books draw on sources as diverse as Harry Potter, Inception, Game of Thrones, and more.

Philosopher’s Eye: Why did you decide to edit The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series?

I’m a huge fan of pop culture in its many forms including movies, TV, and music. Talking about these things has always been a way for me to connect with students in the classroom at King’s College, and it just seemed natural to bring these connections into book form.

What’s the central concern of the series, and why is it important?

The aim is to bring philosophy to people who might not otherwise encounter it, by bringing ancient wisdom and probing inquiry to bear on current movies and TV. Many people already think deeply about their favourite elements of pop culture, so these books give people the philosophical tools and terminology to think more deeply.

And what is it that draws you to this broad area?

I’m passionate about getting people interested in philosophy, and this is one way to do that. “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” as a famous British philosopher once said.

What sort of reaction do you hope the books will get?

So far the reaction has been very positive. Not a week goes by that I don’t get an e-mail from someone telling me how these books have made an impact on their life. More and more, I hear from philosophy majors who first became interested in philosophy by reading one of these books.

What sort of audience did you have in mind for these books?

The books are aimed at smart fans of smart pop culture, the kind of people who really like to discuss and dissect their favourite movies, shows, songs, and video games. They are intended for regular people, not professors :).

Is there another book or series you wish you could claim credit for?

I wish I had written Denis Dutton’s The Art Instinct and Jesse Bering’s The Belief Instinct, two incredibly insightful and elegantly written books. I really like Blackwell’s Big Questions Series. I’ve used the Aesthetics and Metaphysics books very successfully in courses. I’d like to see new volumes on Political Philosophy and Eastern Philosophy in the Big Questions Series.

What’s your current project? What’s next?

The series continues with books in the works on Inception, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory, and others.

How can someone get in touch with you about an idea for a new volume in the series?

I’m always glad to hear from anyone who has an idea for a new book in the series, whether it’s a pop culture fan who would like to see a certain topic covered or a professor who has an idea for a book he or she would like to edit. Just e-mail me at williamirwin@kings.edu.


Philosophy Through Film – Interview with the authors

Richard FumertonDiane JeskeWe recently sat down with Richard Fumerton and Diane Jeske (University of Iowa), the editors of Introducing Philosophy Through Film: Key Texts, Discussion, and Film Selections. In this brief interview, they tell us how the book is different from other introductory texts in its class, and about the great reaction the book is already getting in teaching situations.

 

Philosopher’s Eye: Why did you decide to write Introducing Philosophy Through Film?

We discovered over the past several years that we were very often talking about movies in our classes to illustrate more vividly some of the thought experiments that are such an important part of so much of analytic philosophy.  We noticed that students immediately seem to become more engaged as soon as they could relate the philosophical reading to something that they are already used to talking about in more informal contexts with their friends

What’s the central concern of the book, and why is it important?

The book contains readings that give students a really sound introduction to most of the main areas of contemporary philosophy.  It differs from standard introductory texts by pairing those readings with philosophically interesting Continue reading “Philosophy Through Film – Interview with the authors”

The 2010 Blackwell/Brown Lectures in Philosophy

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing and Brown University are pleased to present “Learning from Experience”, three Lectures by Scott Sturgeon, CUF Lecturer in Philosophy, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Wadham College, University of Oxford.

The three public lectures will take place consecutively from  Monday 29th November to Friday 3rd December 2010, as follows:

  • Theories of Visual Input
    Monday, November 29 at 4:00pm
  • Visual Episodes and Perceptual Justification
    Wednesday, December 1 at 4:00pm
  • Basic Epistemic Commitments
    Friday, December 3 at 4:00pm

Location:

All lectures will take place at:

Gerard House
Room 119
54 College Street
Providence, RI 02912

Click here for directions

Previous Blackwell/ Brown lecturers include Philip Pettit (2008), Frank Jackson (2006), Timothy Williamson (2005), John Broome (2003), and Kit Fine (2002), and to mark the occasion Wiley-Blackwell are offering a 20% discount on all titles in the accompanying book series (code: PHC10), valid on their website until 31st December 2010.

Advice for Philosophy Graduates

Alexander
Alexander the Great: Philosophy Student

Recent UK graduates will no doubt have been disheartened to read that there are currently 70 graduates to every job that’s out there.

Anna Miller recently wrote on these pages about the challenges facing philosophy graduates and suggested a number of ways in which they might ‘de-stress’.

As a philosophy graduate, I think Anna is guilty of perpetuating a number of pernicious stereotypes about philosophy students in her article, and I mean to set the record straight. Rant continues here…

How well do you know the back of your hand?

Image: Solipsist (Wikipedia)

Of all the many and varied objects we encounter in the world, we would ordinarily presume that we know none better than our own body. Descartes describes his pre-theoretical view of himself and his state of knowledge in Meditation 2: “As regarded the body, I did not even doubt of its nature, but thought I distinctly knew it”. However, new research reported on the BBC suggests that we do not accurately represent that most familiar of objects half as accurately as we might think. In fact, the evidence suggest that our conception of our own body is systematically misleading.

Neuroscientists at University College London set up an experiment as follows. Subjects would place a hand flat on a table. The experimenter would then cover the hand with a board, and ask the volunteer to indicate where they thought certain key points of their hand – fingertips, knuckles and joints – were located Continue reading “How well do you know the back of your hand?”